I was deeply saddened to read the Gazette articles about the cuts to Head Start programs as a result of sequestration. Because Congress failed to come up with a budget deal, large and sweeping cuts are going to significantly gut vital programs and services that our most vulnerable communities depend on.
Congress failed to do its jobs, so 360 children in the Billings area are now paying the consequences. Meanwhile, Congress continues to serve powerful lobby interests. Take Apple for example. Apple uses Ireland as a tax haven to avoid paying taxes. In fact, during the May 21 Senate hearing on Apple's tax dodging, it was made clear that Apple has shifted $36 billion in worldwide sales income away from the United States and avoided $9 billion in U.S. taxes in 2012. Meanwhile Apple CEO Tim Cook continues to lobby for corporate tax amnesty.
More tax breaks for corporations like Apple will not solve the problem. Cuts to vital services will not solve the problem. We need increased revenues. We need to protect our communities on the margins. Sen. Baucus and the Senate Finance committee need to prioritize justice, equity and compassion for those who struggle as they attempt to reform our complex tax code. They need to listen to the 360 children in Billings, to working families and to taxpayers like you and me. It is time for corporations like Apple to pay their fair share.